16 April 2021

CWGC: Appeal for Relatives

T Bremner who served with the Canadian Field Artillery and died 20 April 1916 is the only Canadian in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission April appeal for next of kin for soldiers who fell in the war. Could you be connected to him or any of the others listed?

Thomas Bremner served with the 31st Battalion out of Alberta. His attestation paper gives birth on 5 August 1893 in Sterling, Scotland, where he's buried, and next of kin his father William Bremner at 10631 104th Street in Edmonton. According to an article in the Edmonton Journal of 22 April 1916 he had three sisters and one brother so there must be a good chance of there being descendants of one or more of them.

15 April 2021

Myth-busting Ancestry: 18 April

Lesley Anderson is hosted by the Quebec Family History Society at 2 pm on Sunday, 18 April for a free Zoom session Myth-busting Ancestry.

There seems to be misinformation about Ancestry and this session will bust those myths & misconceptions!  Ask your questions – Solve your dilemmas - Tips & Tricks

Lesley Anderson has worked for Ancestry.ca for over 14 years as their Canadian Spokesperson and has done numerous presentations for genealogy societies and conferences across Canada as well as TV and Radio appearances. 

Please sign up to receive an invitation to the Zoom session at least a day before the Zoom Event by email at qfhs@bellnet.ca

The session is free. Donations through CanadaHelps gratefully accepted.

Cavan Townlands

Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News reports "A freshly re-designed website has launched to provide a 'gateway to the history of each of Cavan's 2,000 townlands'. It's called CavanTownlands.com, and brings together historical data and sources for each individual townland."

Family Tree Magazine: May 2021

The headline article in the issue is Heraldry: Your Get Started Guide. Author Mike Bedford looks at the history of heraldry, the elements of a heraldic "achievement," the language of blazon, advice if you discover an armigerous ancestor and, where to see "heraldry in the flesh."

For those of us whose ancestry is more prosaic, archivist Lisa Edwards recounts the history, restoration and future of a working-men's club, while editor Helen Tovey reports on a research project to shed light on workhouse ancestors.

There's also an article on the loss of 32 firemen and 2 firewomen as a result of the bombing of Old Palace School, St. Leonard's Street, Bow on 20 April 1941 - 80 years ago.

Plus there's the usual mix of news, views, advice and problems solved.

The magazine is likely available free through your Canadian public library subscription to digital resources. In Ottawa, that's either Press Reader or Overdrive Magazines (Formerly RBDigital Unlimited Magazines -Zinio).

14 April 2021

Ed Kipp R.I.P.

We mourn the passing of Dr. Edward Kipp UE on Saturday 10 April 2021, six days short of his 78th birthday after a life of service.

Ed was widely known as a mainstay of many genealogical and other activities in Ottawa and area summarized in this citation for the award of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

His years of volunteerism included his work with the Ontario Genealogical Society Ottawa Branch (treasurer, editor, Gene-O-Rama, conference, etc.), his personal genealogical work on the Kip/Kipp family which is used by researchers around the world, various activities both nationally and internationally with the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada (bus trips to the USA, King's Name Project, newsletter St. Lawrence Branch, webpage Sir Guy Carleton Branch), his activities with the Alumni Association Ottawa Branch of the University of Western Ontario for over a decade, editor of the Directory of Amateur Radio Operators in the Ottawa Area for a number of years, his lectures on genealogy/local history both in Canada and in the United States of America, various roles at Orleans United Church (treasurer, camp coordinator, etc.) and a number of other volunteer activities throughout his life.

Condolences to his wife Elizabeth and family.

WDYTYA Magazine: May 2021

There are three feature articles in the May issue.

Archives in Lockdown
Explores how UK archivists have risen to the challenge of COVID-19. Although planned events were not able to go ahead, and physical access has been closed at times, restricted at others, progress has been made without "pesky customers: around. The article gives examples of improved research services, online exhibitions, and engagement vis social media that's been possible.

By contrast, a column by Alan Crosby "Societies in Sickness" laments that the pandemic may have been fatal for some UK family history societies, on top of the challenge of lack of volunteers.

Get Creative
Bring your ancestors to life as never before. "Creative work is about pulling on threads and finding relationships between seemingly unrelated things, and making something new."

Cartoon Capers
The origins and history of British Comics.

But wait, there's more ...

The magazine is likely available free through your Canadian public library subscription to digital resources. In Ottawa, that's Overdrive Magazines (Formerly RBDigital Unlimited Magazines -Zinio)

13 April 2021

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Those in red are Canadian, bolded if local to Ottawa. Assume registration in advance is required. Check so you're not disappointed.

Tuesday, 13 April 1 pm: What Do We Owe to Those Not Yet Born, by Martin Daunton for Gresham College. https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/owe-unborn

Tuesday 13 April, 2 pm:  Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library. https://ottawa.ogs.on.ca/events/.

Tuesday 13 April 7 pm: A Virtual Road Trip – a virtual tour through the resources available on the Essex Branch website, Member's Only Library, and at the Family History Branch of the Windsor Public Library. https://essex.ogs.on.ca/meetings/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/EssexCountyOGS

Wednesday, 14 April 8 am Dickens: The Last Decade, by Michael Slater for Gresham College. https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/dickens-last-decade

Wednesday, 14 April 7 pm: Arrested Development: A Start/Stop History of Lebreton Flats, by Phil Jenkins for the Historical Society of Ottawa. https://www.historicalsocietyottawa.ca/activities/events

Wednesday 14 April 8 pm: Jewish Genealogy with JewishGen.org, by Deborah J Kroopkin for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1623

Thursday 14 April 11 am: The 1939 Register for House & Local History, with Ellie Jones and Deborah Sugg Ryan for Findmypast. www.facebook.com/findmypast.

Thursday, 15 April  7:00 pm: How to Get More Out of MyHeritage., by Mike Mansfield for Lambton County Branch OGS. 

Friday 16 April, 2 pm: An African Canadian Family History Mystery, by Mags Gaulden for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1664

Saturday 17 April 10 am:  The Power of DNA, by Mags Gaulden for Kingston Branch OGS, 

Saturday 17 April 1 pm: So You Think You Know Where Your Ancestors Live. by Linda Courpe for Quinte Branch OGS. To register click here.

New and Expanded Records from FamilySearch

There are 51 titles in the list of New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 12 April 2021. Here are those for Canada (Nova Scotia) and the UK (England).

CollectionNew Indexed RecordsTotal Indexed Records
Canada, Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-20011,816214,402
England, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-197195899,625
England, Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1642-19961,252131,551
England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-18989,7801,353,551
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-198832,9881,719,264
England, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-19204,207303,708
England, Hertfordshire, Marriage Bonds, 1682-1837701,955
England, Lancashire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1746-17994011,644
England, Lincolnshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1574-188556070,758

12 April 2021

Findmypast adds to UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors Collection

Another 2.9 million entries are added to this Findmypast collection. The total is now 121,650,867 entries making it the third-largest for the UK after England & Wales Births 1837-2006 with 133,086,915 records and England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1920-1932 with 125,544,782.

Provided by 192.com, the records include names, addresses, and other details of the UK electorate from 2002 up to the present day. Business directors are included.

These transcripts show:

Age guide – provides the age range of the individual
Electoral rolls
Occupancy (years)
Other occupants
Company director – If this field shows ‘Yes’ that indicates that the person is listed on the Companies House Directors register.

For the US, last Friday Findmypast also added Cincinnati Roman Catholic Parish Registers. Over 22,000 new baptisms covering records up to 1924, over 28,000 new marriages up to 1924 and over 19,000 new burials up to 1953

11 April 2021

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Equal opportunity insults

Digital Jigsaw Puzzles – US National Library Week Edition

The Flu in Halifax
Blog posts Halifax Municipal Archives: Finding the Spanish Flu in Archival Records and The History of Spanish Influenza in Halifax serve to highlight that Halifax is not well served by digitized newspapers.

180-Year-Old Diary Records a Couple's Passage by Ship from London to Vancouver

Art, Oral History and Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes

Prince Philip dies: his marriage to the Queen and their part in 1,000 years of European royal dynastic history

Danish West Indies Records Just Launched on Ancestry
Danish West Indies, Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1820-1909 (in Danish), 57,415 records
Danish West Indies, Records and Documents Relating to General Governance, 1755-1916 (in Danish), 54,461records
Danish West Indies Census, 1841-1901 (in Danish), 313,071 records.

Thanks to this week's contributors:  Anonymous, Gail,  Norm Prince, Teresa, Unknown.

More Maps Online from the National Library of Scotland

Three new sets of maps covering Scotland and Great Britain during the 20th century at the regional or medium scale are highlighted in the April NLS Newsletter.

NLS comments that these are particularly useful for showing the development of reservoirs and forestry, as well as new roads, railways and airports. Some were specifically made for air navigation by civilians or the Royal Air Force, and another set was captured by the Germans and re-issued for the Luftwaffe in 1939-40.

Maps website updates
OS Half-inch, Scotland, Outline Edition, 1942
OS Quarter-inch, Scotland, 1901-1960

OS One-inch, Great Britain, 1952-1970

10 April 2021

Findmypast adds Cambridgeshire, Licensed Victuallers. Popular Pub Names

According to information from Findmypast, there are 52,044 records in this new collection for Cambridgeshire covering 1764-1828 giving the name and abode of the victualler, the name of the alehouse, tavern or inn, and the name and abode of the person providing surety. Sourced from the Cambridgeshire Archives in Ely, they were photographed and transcribed by members of the Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Family History Society. Most are for the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Not advertised and not fully searchable are entries as late as 1956. 

The pub names are fascinating. For 400 post-WW2 entries, 40 were for establishments starting White — White Cock, White Hart, White Horse, White Lion, and White Swan. 9 started with Black — Black Bull, Black Horse and Black Swan. Others with colours were the Golden Lion, Green Man, and Red Lion. While no pubs had signs starting with One or Two, there were entries for Three Blackbirds, Three Fishes and Three Horse Shoes.

Duke, King, Maid, Nag and Queen were all paired with Head; Bricklayer, Carpenter and Queen had Arms appended.

The most unusual—Dog In A Doublet and Hero Of Aliwal.

There's another view of popular pub names at https://www.pubnames.co.uk/top100.php

Additions to Canadiana Serials

Since 1 March Canadiana.ca has added 120 new items to the serials collection online, and, as always, free. Listed here, along with forthcoming items, they are mostly for the second half of the 19th century. 

Included are a range of newspapers from St John, NB, from 1820 to 1910; various directories, almanacs and annual reports.

One that caught my attention is Vennor's almanac : Fifth Edition (1877). Vennor was Montreal-based and his almanac includes a range of local information. Is that where you'd look for an article on the Wakefield Cave? Ornithological Facts? A comparison of Montreal winters from 1849 to 1876?

09 April 2021

FreeBMD April Update

The FreeBMD Database was updated on Thursday 8 April 2021 to contain 279,663,246 unique records (279,220,849 at the previous update.) Years with major additions, greater than 5,000 records are: for births 1986-90; for marriages 1969, 1986-89; for deaths 1986, 1988-90. 

The database now contains 117,156,058 unique births, 85,770,686 marriages and 76,736,502 deaths.

The decline in the number of births per marriage event is evident from four up to the late 19th century to around two after 1930.

08 April 2021

BIFHSGO April Meeting

Saturday, 10 April 2021

How to Tell a Compelling Family History Story (Education Talk, 9 a.m.)

Ruth Stewart Verger grew up in a storytelling family and weaves tales from family histories and from much time spent in archives and university libraries researching Canadian historical figures. A resident of Ottawa, Ruth is a member of Storytellers of Canada.

The War Brides 75 Years: 1946–2021 (Feature Talk, 10.30 a.m.) 

Melynda Jarratt marks the 75th anniversary of “Operation Daddy” – the organized transport to Canada of nearly 45,000 war brides and their children following the end of the Second World War. 

For more information, see Meetings & Activities. April 10

Canada and England FamilySearch Updates for the Week of 5 April 2021

The following additions to FamilySearch indexes, without links to original records, appeared in the past week.

Collection New Indexed Records Total Indexed Records
Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001 1,106 213,873
England, Essex Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1971 859 99,147
England, Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1642-1996 1,139 131,660
England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-1898 10,344 1,349,239
England, Lancashire, Parish Registers 1538-1910 18,823 1,207,650
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988 53,054 1,699,929
England, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1920 3,604 302,970
England, Hertfordshire, Marriage Bonds, 1682-1837 80 1,863
England, Lancashire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1746-1799 296 1,459
England, Lincolnshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1574-1885 1,347 70,634

07 April 2021

South Wales Records Added at Ancestry

Index records that just appeared on Ancestry.

Glamorganshire, Wales, Glamorgan County Asylum Records, 1845-1920, 26,387 records

Original data: Cardiff, Wales: Glamorgan Archives: Archifau Morgannwg. Glamorgan Asylum Indexes to case notes pre-1920 Glamorgan Asylum Register of Burials 1866-1958 Vernon House Asylum Admission and Discharge Registers 1845-1897.

Cardiff, Wales, Index to Police Constabulary Registers, 1904-1920, 6,327 records

Original data: Cardiff Borough Police Force Fingerprint and Photographic Registers. Cardiff, Wales: Glamorgan Archives.

06 April 2021

Last Minute: Eastern Ontario Virtual Archives Tour

Join the Archives Association of Ontario, East/est Chapter on Thursday, 8 April 8 to virtually explore three archives in Eastern Ontario and beyond. See behind the scenes of the newly built Ingenium Archives, the Port Hope Archives, and the City of Ottawa Archives. Archivists from each institution will introduce their video tour and be available for questions. 

Date: Thursday, 8 April 2021
Time: 7–8:30 PM  EDT

Cost: Free (registration is required)
Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Register by April 7: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUlf-GvqDwiH9DP5ZtUUZT70sf9RJ-pOINR

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Ingenium Archives – Adele Torrance :
Adele Torrance is Archivist at Ingenium (Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Canada Science and Technology Museum, and Canada Agriculture and Food Museum) in Ottawa. Prior to joining Ingenium in 2017, Adele worked for UNESCO in Paris, the International Monetary Fund Archives in Washington, D.C., and at the Halifax Regional Municipality Archives as a Young Canada Works intern. She graduated with a Master of Archival Studies from UBC in 2005.  

Port Hope Archives - Rachel Arnaud:
For the past 4 years, Rachel has been the sole archivist at Port Hope Archives, located in a former Land Registry office in Port Hope, Ontario. This small town has a rich history stemming from the mighty Ganaraska River which runs through the middle of town down to Lake Ontario. The Archives exists to collect, preserve, and provide public access to the history of the town of Port Hope and Hope Township. 

City of Ottawa Archives – John D. Lund:
John D. Lund is the Digital Records archivist at the City of Ottawa Archives. He is an active member of the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) and is the President of the AAO Eastern Chapter, AAOEe. John specializes in the history of photography, digital records management, and copyright. He holds a Master's of Archival Studies from UBC and an MA in History from UVic.

For questions, please contact the AAOEe at aaoeast@gmail.com

Library and Archives Canada: Jan to 1 April 2021

As of the start of the month LAC had posted 20 items in the news section in the left-hand column of its home page this year. They can be roughly categorized into four groups: Operations, Policy, Acquisitions and Outputs. Here's the list ordered by group then date.

27-Jan-2021Rare book from 1943 acquired by Library and Archives Canada—was one of first sources to sound global alarm about Holocaust in progressAcq
15-Mar-2021Library and Archives Canada Foundation funds purchase of unique centuries-old Canadian legal heritage documentsAcq
5-Jan-2021Exhibition: Hiding in Plain Sight: Discovering the Métis Nation in the Archival Records of Library and Archives CanadaOps
8-Jan-2021Temporary suspension of digital copy servicesOps
8-Feb-2021Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada joint facility: A landmark cultural infrastructure project pointing the way to a greener futureOps
11-Feb-2021Interruption of computing services on Saturday, February 13, 2021Ops
16-Feb-2021February 22 - Resumption of copy services and on-site consultations in OttawaOps
16-Feb-2021Reopening - Winnipeg public service point now open by reservationOps
26-Feb-2021OPL-LAC joint facility: Inviting Indigenous artists!Ops
2-Mar-2021Technical difficulties (update): Collection SearchOps
10-Mar-2021Reopening: Limited access to microform collection in OttawaOps
10-Mar-2021Interruption of computing services on March 13, 2021Ops
1-Apr-2021LAC Ottawa: Public service point closed and temporary suspension of copy servicesOps
9-Feb-2021Launch of third edition of Lingua Franca e-bookOut
22-Feb-2021A new Google map to search for Indigenous-related collection itemsOut
2-Feb-2021LAC's Vision 2030: We want your inputPol
3-Mar-2021Taking steps toward reconciliation at Library and Archives CanadaPol
9-Mar-2021The Francophone Name Authority Program: Progress for the Francophone Library SectorPol
19-Mar-2021Policy on Maintaining the Canadian National Union CataloguePol
1-Apr-2021Update on Theses Canada for universities and studentsPol

11 of the 20, more than half, relate to operations. Most are short-term - interruptions of service or closing and opening of physical facilities. Two relate to the LAC-OPL joint facility under development and one is a new location for a travelling exhibition.

Five relate to policy, two to acquisitions and two to outputs — Launch of third edition of Lingua Franca e-book and A new Google map to search for Indigenous-related collection items.

A surprising omission is The Library and Archives Canada Scholar Awards "created to recognize remarkable Canadians who have made an outstanding contribution to the creation and promotion of our country’s culture, literary heritage and historical knowledge." Those being honoured on Wednesday 21 April at 7 pm online here are:
Margaret Atwood, poet, novelist, literary critic and essayist
Roch Carrier, novelist and author
Charlotte Gray, historian, author and biographer
Serge Joyal, former senator, art collector and philanthropist
Terry O’Reilly, broadcast producer and radio personality.

Another surprising omission is resources of broad interest newly available online. There surely must be some. In recent months progress is evident in Co-Lab. You have to dig to find it, Why is LAC so shy in providing information on newly available resources online?


This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Those in red are Canadian, bolded if local to Ottawa. Assume registration in advance is required. Check so you're not disappointed.

Tuesday 6 April, 2 pm:  Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library. https://ottawa.ogs.on.ca/events/.

Tuesday 6 April, 2:30 pm: French-Canadian Migrations Out of Quebec: Francophones in North America, by Judy Muhn for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Centre. https://acpl.libnet.info/event/5007720

Tuesday 6 April, 7:30 pm: Portable Genealogy – You Can Take It With You…, by Bob Dawes for Durham Region Branch OGS. https://durhambranch.ogs.on.ca/events/portable-genealogy-you-can-take-it-with-you/

Wednesday 7 April, 11 am: Beyond Family Announcements in Newspapers, by Mary McKee for Findmypast. www.facebook.com/findmypast.

Thursday & Friday 8-9 April: MyHeritage 24 hour genealogy webinar marathon. The stars come out!

Saturday 10 April: Family History Federation Really Useful Family History Show ($). https://www.fhf-reallyuseful.com/

Saturday 10 April 9 am: How to Tell a Compelling Family History Story, by Ruth Stewart Verger for BIFHSGO. https://bifhsgo.ca/eventListings.php?nm=127#er564

Saturday 10 April 10:30 am: The War Brides 75 Years: 1946–2021, by Melynda Jarratt for BIFHSGO. https://bifhsgo.ca/eventListings.php?nm=127#er564


4 — 6 June 2021: OGS Conference. conference.ogs.on.ca (registration opens 1 April) 

19 – 26 September 2021: BIFHSGO Conference. Irish Lines and Female Finds: Exploring Irish records, female ancestors and genetic genealogy. www.bifhsgo2021.ca/.

05 April 2021

Survey: Family History and DNA Testing and its Impacts

A team from the University of Newcastle, Australia, is investigating the use, role and impact of DNA testing in exploring and understanding individual, national, and global histories and identities. 

We are invited to participate in an online survey, worldwide in scope, which is expected to take about 20 minutes. 

Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2DDTC2L

Less is More

I signed up for a couple of online presentations recently where the material was crammed in—everything about a topic in a 60-minute presentation. It was too much. Presenters do it because they feel they need to give value to money. Some may not want to get called out for missing what a questioner regards as an important aspect not included. Some didn't do the work required to shorten it, we all know the line about if I had more time I'd make it shorter. And for some, sad to say, impressing with the depth of their knowledge is more important than providing a useful instructional experience.

There's no lack of advice on giving effective presentations. Google it! Most stress limiting the material to a few key points. We can only absorb so much before reaching overload. 

Now, with online presentations, why do organizers continue scheduling presentations for an hour in length? It's not as if you're travelling a distance to attend in person. 

Could we not have 15-minute presentations with 3 main points. Reserve additional material for a follow-on presentation that could be scheduled after attendees have had the chance to explore the initial material. 

If you're a Legacy Family Tree subscriber, you've seen this working with the weekly short tech tip videos (2-10 minutes each).

TED Talks are 18 minutes.

If organizers want to schedule longer meetings, why not a series of short presentations? You increase the chances there will be something relevant to more people. Maybe that's why BIFHSGO's Great Moments sessions are so popular. 

Monday Memories: Tokens

I have a drawer holding coins thrown there on return from a trip. 

It also has a few tokens like the TTC token at the top and the Champlain Bridge token below it—relics of times I lived in Toronto and Montreal. 
The Dawson City token is from my only trip there—on business.
The others didn't ring any bells with me when I found them in the collection.
With the 1776 date, the one on the left must be from the US.
The next two rows down are from various provinces with the date they entered Confederation. 
At the foot are two with the names Mackenzie and de la Salle. 

Do you have any of those in the lower three rows? If so please let me know about them.

Unless anything else surfaces this will finish the Monday Memories series.

04 April 2021

Highland Threads

Highland fashion through history

A virtual exhibition—14 key pieces from museums from all over the Highlands of Scotland, brought to you online via film and photography with supporting stories and archive images from each museum.

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

Archives Film Favourites
As part of Archives Awareness Week, the Archives of Ontario is hosting a virtual screening on Thursday, April 8 at 8pm of staff favourite documentaries, home movies, government films and other gems! Register at <https://www.eventbrite.com/e/our-film-favourites-staff-picks-from-the-vaults-tickets-146472231387>

The Norfolk and Suffolk links to one of Jack the Ripper’s victims.

In 2020 Canada had its lowest population growth rate since 1916.

A Very British Obsession: The Weather (and Some Ideas for Sources to Use for Family History Research)

What researching my family's Nazi history taught me about how to approach the past.

Did You Know: 9 of the 10 most visited pages on the Library and Archives Canada website are for genealogy.

Heal Your Ancestors to Heal Your Life, by Shelley A. Kaehr. A new book, for information—I'm a skeptic.

Did You Know: The description in the background section The Children's Lives in Canada at the LAC Home Children, 1869-1932 section has been rewritten to give a more balanced view than previously.

Thanks to this week's contributors:  Anonymous, BT, Patricia Roberts-Pichette, Rick Roberts, Teresa, Unknown.

03 April 2021

Findmypast adds Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, Mentioned In Dispatches 1940-1945

From the London Gazette, Findmypast has extracted 32,917 instances of Mentioned In Dispatches which generally give first name, last name, service number, year of award, country, regiment, service, London Gazette date, London Gazette issue. 

1,164 of these have a Canadian service number. Chronologically the first was Squadron Leader G R M McGregor, Service number CAN/J936 in 1941 who was awarded the DFC and later became long time president of TCA (Air Canada.)

Notwithstanding the date in the collection title, many mentions were in 1946 publications.

Ancestry Updates Canada and US Newspapers.com Obituary Indexes

For Canada, there are now 31,056,223 entries, updated from 30,877,928 records last November. Coverage is available for various newspapers for Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. There are 25,442 entries for 2020, 35,807 for 2019 and 30,156 for 2018. The database is particularly valuable for more recent years when official death records are not available. 

For the US, there are now 834,426,322 entries in the updated indexes. Ancestry provides a "Browse by Last Name starting with" capability for each US newspaper not yet implemented for Canada.

02 April 2021

Findmypast Weekly Update: Modern Deaths

Two modern UK death collections are new and updated on Findmypast.

England & Wales Deaths 2007-2020—over 353,000 new records, compiled from sources other than the GRO, total of 3,273,531 records in this collection. It includes 176,211 (608,016) deaths for 2020, 153,823 (530,841) for 2019, 184,230 (541,589) for 2018. The numbers in brackets are from the Office of National Statistics showing that about one-third of the deaths are captured by this database.

These records are "transcriptions only...compiled from civic records and funeral homes, and is published as a result of our partnership with Wilmington Millennium Ltd." "Most records usually contain all or some of the following fields: Title, first name, last name, gender, age, approximate birth year (based on age at year of death), death year, death date, residence, area, geo direction, postcode area, postcode district, postcode sector, county, country."

If you use Ancestry you may recall that Wilmington Millennium is the source for their database England and Wales, Death Index, 1989-2019. For 2019 it has 191,625 records, and for 2018 contains 184,548 records.

The other Findmypast collection with additions is Ireland, Northern Ireland Deaths 1998-2020. There are over 5,000 new records, the new total is over 92,000 records. There are 2,794 (17,474) records for 2020, 2,500 (15,671) for 2019 and 2,716 (15,763) for 2018. The number in brackets shows that's slightly under 20% of the total deaths recorded by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. The source, Wilmington Millennium, and format of the results are as for England and Wales.

The equivalent database on Ancestry is Scotland and Northern Ireland, Death Index, 1989-2019 with a total of 650,151 records, 88,160 for Northern Ireland.

Now to MyHeritage and their collection United Kingdom, Death Index, 1980-2020 with a total of 6,351,219 records. For 2020 it shows 147,707 results, for 2019 a total of 324,646 results, and for 2018 a total of 269,720, in each case for England and Wales combined. 

The bottom line is that Findmypast and MyHeritage have records for 2020 not yet available via Ancestry.  MyHeritage, which does not give a source for its data, has more results for some of these years than either Findmypast or Ancestry. For none of them is there anything like a complete collection for the years included.

Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine

The Spring issue of this free magazine from Eneclann is now available for download.

The contents are:

Fiona Fitzsimons and Helen Moss - President Joseph Biden's Irish Roots. Part 2: The Scanlon Family,
Eamonn P. (Ned) Kelly – The Winter Bower of the Sun God and his Consort,
Brigit McCone – The Rebellion of Dervorgilla, Queen of Tyrconnell,
Deirdre Powell – The Increase in Appreciation of Irish Composer Ina Boyle (1889–1967),
Jacqueline Gallup – Dúchas: An Invaluable Resource for Folklore and for Family Historians. Part I: Folklore and the Connection to Family History. Part II: An Interview with Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Director of the National Folklore Collection,
Nathan Mannion – David Herbison: The Poet Laureate of Ballymena (County Antrim),
Paul MacCotter – The Barretts of County Cork. Part One: The Early History.
Book Review - A Review of Fashion and Family History: Interpreting How Your Ancestors Dressed [Patrick Roycroft reviews the latest book by Jayne Shrimpton]
Book Excerpt – Fashion and Family History: Interpreting How Your Ancestors Dressed (2021, Pen and Sword Family History) by Jayne Shrimpton.
The Genealogical Publishing Company Book Excerpt – Clan Callaghan: The O Callaghan Family of County Cork (2020 revised edition) by Professor Joseph P. O Callaghan

Regular columns:
Dear Genie (Our Genealogists help you with your research block)
Photodetective (Jayne Shrimpton analyses one of your family photos)
Patrick's Page (Patrick Roycroft deals with a client at the Irish Family History Centre)
FMP Roundup (Niall Cullen lets us know of the new Irish genealogy records that have been added to Findmypast)

01 April 2021

Ancestry Easter Discount

Have you taken advantage of the free access to Ancestry Libary edition through your public library and decided you want your own subscription?

Until 7 April Ancestry.ca is offering 30% off 6-month subscriptions to the Canadian and International subscriptions.

Advance Notice: Zoom Lecture: How did ancestry come to play such a critical role in defining status?

I had the good fortune to enjoy a Carleton U Shannon Lecture by Maya Jasanoff on Joseph Conrad. Don't miss this one on ancestry.

Thursday, April 8, 2021 - U of T Department of History Creighton Lecture - Maya Jasanoff 

When and Where  

Thursday, April 08, 2021 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm 

via Zoom 


Maya Jasanoff (Harvard University) 


Everyone comes from somewhere. From the doctor's office to the passport office, from whom we've descended affects the biological, legal, and cultural identities of just about everybody in the world today. How did ancestry come to play such a critical role in defining status? Drawing on insights from anthropology, genetics, and history, this lecture will meditate on the human preoccupation with lineage from ancient times to the DNA tests of today. 

Maya Jasanoff is the XD and Nancy Yang Professor of Arts and Sciences and Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University. She is the author of the prize-winning books Edge of Empire and Liberty's Exiles, and most recently The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World, winner of the 2018 Cundill Prize in History. She is currently working on a wide-ranging book about the role of ancestry in human history. A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow, Jasanoff was awarded the 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize in Literature for her non-fiction writing. Jasanoff is a frequent contributor to publications including The New Yorker and the Guardian, and is chair of judges for the 2021 Booker Prize. 

The annual Creighton Lecture honours the legacy of Donald Creighton, Professor of Canadian History from 1928-1971. 

Registration required: https://www.history.utoronto.ca/events/2021-creighton-lecture-ancestors-where-do-we-come-and-why-do-we-care 

OGS Families: February 2021

I omitted to note the publication of the most recent issue of OGS Families. Read it to find out why it's not because there's a load of bull in the issue! This is playing catchup; here are the contents.

Black Lives - The Family of John Jones, Escaped Slave, by Alan Campbell
Stars of Canada - In New Zealand, by Helen Belcher
A Genealogical Search for Holstein Cattle and Their Owners, by Ann Rexe
BOOK REVIEW: "Researching Presbyterian Ancestorsin Ireland" by W.J. Roulston, reviewed by Alan Campbell
A Little Spark, by Coral Harkies
Off the Beaten Branch, by Coral Harkies

Families is a benefit of OGS membership available once logged in on the website.

Internet Genealogy April/May 2021

Here are the contents of the new issue of Internet Genealogy available on 12 April.

Bright Beacons for Dark Seas: Lighthouses & Lightships
David A. Norris looks at sources for lighthouse and lightship family history records

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Diane L. Richard gives an overview of online image collections you’ll want to explore

School Days
Sue Lisk looks at websites that shed light on the experiences of teachers and students in the one-room schoolhouses of yesteryear

The Statistical Abstract of the United States
David A. Norris looks at a one-stop shopping source for historical statistics

Veterans Legacy Memorial: Your Family Connection?
Tony Bandy looks at the National Cemetery Administration’s online portal

English Treasures: 19th Century Wills
Ed Storey looks at an interesting collection of Durham and Northumberland records

Robbie Gorr says when it comes to genealogy, learning has no age or limit!

Pulling Away From the Web
Sue Lisk says there are benefits from taking the occasional break from internet research

10 TIPS to Boost Your Genealogy Research & Writing Productivity
Lisa A. Alzo shares expert tips from top genealogy educators

Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade
Diane L. Richard reviews an online source with worldwide scope

HathiTrust Revisited
Tony Bandy looks at an online digital library for your genealogy research

Internet Genealogy looks at websites and related news that are sure to be of interest

Back Page: Explore Every DNA Match!
Dave Obee says don’t ignore those notifications from your DNA testing results

31 March 2021

British Newspaper Archive March Additions

The British Newspaper Archive added 104,078 pages in the last 7 days for a total of 41,992,236 pages online (41,596,848 last month). 

This month 51 papers had pages added (78 in the previous month). There were 22 (33) new titles. Dates range from 1805 to 1979.

Those with more than 10,000 pages added were:

Reading Standard1891-1895, 1897-1911, 1913-1961
The News (London)1805, 1807, 1809-1835
Herts and Essex Observer1939-1979
Alliance News1865, 1877-1883, 1885-1889
Belfast Weekly Telegraph1873-1893, 1895-1922
Evening Irish Times1880-1895
Bassett's Chronicle1863-1884
General Advertiser for Dublin, and all Ireland1837-1841, 1846-1852, 1856-1866, 1874, 1885, 1897-1923
Formby Times1895, 1900-1906, 1908-1909, 1911, 1919-1922, 1930, 1933-1939, 1943-1951, 1967-1974
Neath Guardian1927-1964

To date the total number of issues by country is:

Republic of Ireland487933
Northern Ireland246790
There are also issues for India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Canada, Jersey, Jamaica, Guernsey, Saint Kitts and Nevis, China. Antigua, Isle of Man, Barbados, Belize, and Dominica.

O/T: Fear Me Not! I Got My COVID Vaccine.

I can't say this until Saturday, and then will wait two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective. Even then I'll be wearing a mask when required. But ...

Your social distancing doesn’t just harm your quality of life. Your social distancing also harms the quality of life of everyone who loses the pleasure of your company and the profit of your patronage.

Here are considerations ... https://www.econlib.org/fear-me-not-i-got-my-covid-vaccine/.

Find a Grave Index Updates on Ancestry

Each month Ancestry updates the index to Find a Grave which boasts over 190 million memorials. 

Since last mentioned at the end of January both the Canadian and UK & Ireland collections have increased by about 16%.
UK and Ireland1300s-Current10,918,486
Australia and New Zealand1800s-Current8,986,286

30 March 2021

TheGenelogist adds 1939 Register

Here's a press release about a major additional title on TheGenealogist.

TheGenealogist adds the 1939 Register with SmartSearch

TheGenealogist has released the 1939 Register for England and Wales, adding their unique and powerful search tools and SmartSearch technology. This offers a hugely flexible way to look for your ancestors at the start of the Second World War.

TheGenealogist’s well known brick wall shattering search tools include the ability to find your ancestor in 1939 by using keywords, such as the individual’s occupation or their date of birth. You can also search for an address and then jump straight to the household. If you’re struggling to find a family, you can even search using as many of their forenames as you know.

Once you’ve found a record in the 1939 Register, you can click on the street name to view all the residents on the street, potentially finding relatives living nearby.

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology enables you to discover even more about a person, linking to their Birth, Marriage and Death records.

1939 saw the evacuation of thousands of children

The 1939 Register can often reveal to you important additional information about your ancestors that will help build your family’s story. The powerful keyword search can find evacuees by searching for their name and date of birth along with the keyword “evacuee”. The fact individuals are listed with their full dates of birth is a huge benefit that the 1939 Register has over the census, which simply lists the age of a person. 

Take your research journey quickly forwards by using TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch to jump to a person’s

  • Birth Record

  • Marriage Record

  • Death Record

TheGenealogist makes searching the 1939 Register more flexible. Search by

  • Name (Including wildcards, e.g. Win* Church*)

  • Address (e.g. Whitehall) 

  • Keywords (e.g. Admiralty)

  • First names from a family group (e.g. Winston, Clementine)

See TheGenealogist’s article on finding the highest-paid Film Star and Entertainer of the time, George Formby:


About TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

This Week's Online Genealogy Events

Choose from free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Those in red are Canadian, bolded if local to Ottawa. Assume registration in advance is required. Check so you're not disappointed.

Tuesday 30 March, 8 am: The South Sea Bubble of 1720, by Helen Paul for Gresham College. 

Tuesday 30 March, 2 pm:  Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, from Ottawa Branch of OGS and The Ottawa Public Library. https://ottawa.ogs.on.ca/events/.

Tuesday 30 March, 2 pm: See your ancestors like never before with MyHeritage's photo tools, by Tal Erlichman for Legacy Family Tree Webinars and MyHeritage. 

Wednesday 31 March, 2 pm: Fifty Overlooked Genealogical Resources in Fifty Minutes, by Diane L. Richard for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1621.

Wednesday 31 March, 11 am: History of the Black Country and West Midlands, with Mylo Clelland and Simon Briercliffe for Findmypast. https://www.facebook.com/findmypast

Wednesday 31 March 7 pm: Murdered Midas, by Charlotte Grey for Historical Society of Ottawa. historicalsocietyottawa.ca/.

Thursday 1 April 7pm: Discussion: Zotero: Your Personal Research Assistant, by Lynn Palermo for OGS. https://ogs.on.ca/zoom-meetings/april-webinar-lynn-palermo/.

Friday 2 April 11 am: Fridays Live, with Ellie Jones for Findmypast. 


4 — 6 June 2021: OGS Conference. conference.ogs.on.ca (registration opens 1 April) 

19 – 26 September 2021: BIFHSGO Conference. Irish Lines and Female Finds: Exploring Irish records, female ancestors and genetic genealogy. www.bifhsgo2021.ca/.

Border Reiver Surnames

Way back in 2018 I mentioned Howard Mathieson's site The Geography of Surnames.

He recently added a web page on Border Reiver surnames. It includes maps of surname density for 67 of the most common surnames. All the usual suspects — Armstrong, Bell, Dacre, Elliot(t), Graham, Little, Moffat, Nixon, Scott and many more, but not Reid — are there. If you have the Archer Surname Atlas based on the 1881 census you'll already have the distribution for England.


29 March 2021

Timetoast & What Was There

Two of the free resources mentioned by Thomas MacEntee in his Pat Horan Memorial Lecture Successful Collateral and Cluster Searching for Gene-O-Rama 2021 I'd not encountered previously.

Timetoast (http://www.timetoast.com) is a timeline maker, an easy-to-use method of documenting information along a timeline. You can share the timeline with other researchers and also incorporate it into documents or websites.
I gave it a quick trial using data for George Sparkes, great-nephew of Sir John A Macdonald.

What Was There (http://www.whatwasthere.com) is "a virtual time machine of sorts that allows users to navigate familiar streets as they appeared in the past." Thomas illustrated the use with a photo of Sparks Street. Here is another Ottawa example showing the National War Memorial and the Russell Hotel that previously occupied the site. Fade between present-day and historic images.

Monday Memories: Music CDs

CDs followed vinyl, covered last week. I skipped 8-track and my cassette collection was never large. Some that bring back memories are:

"Hev Yew Gotta Loight Bor? by the Singing Postman, Allen Smethurst.  He was active in the 1960s with his broad Norfolk accent, something I never picked up. It's on YouTube

"Water Under Snow is Weary" by Tapiola Choir, one I picked up in Helsinki on a business trip. It's on YouTube. Finlandia is also in my collection (love this video).

A collection "Portuguese Folk Music" reminds of happy holidays with family.

Al Brisco, steel guitar virtuoso, gave me "Pickin Up the Dust" as a thank you for finding him and "returning" a family bible that Bob Lamoureau found in a collection of donated books. Al is on YouTube

"Hymns of Faith," a thank you gift for making a presentation at a Voices from the Dust event organized by the Ottawa Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Roseberry Road" is likely the most recent CD I own. Who doesn't enjoy Shelly Posen's songs with or without the group Finest Kind? Although not on that CD his song No More Fish, No Fishermen reminds me of the way technology killed the herring fishery in my old hometown in Norfolk. It's on YouTube.

28 March 2021

Sunday Sundries

Miscellaneous items I found of interest during the week.

The Bayeux Tapestry Digitized

COVID-19 silver linings: Technology has helped universities be more innovative and inventive
This made me wonder whether LAC and other government organizations we deal with could benefit from ThoughtExchange, if they were brave enough. Also whether the flipped classroom has application for family history societies.

Canadian Income by Geography, Sex, and Age

AnAge Database of Animal Ageing and Longevity

British Air Raid Precautions Film- 'Your Book' WWII (1939)

Louvre museum makes its entire collection available online.

Do you have a news blindspot? Analyze the news diet of any account on Twitter with the Blindspotter tool.

Thanks to this week's contributors:  Anonymous, BT, Nancy Cutway, nlf, Peggy Homans Chapman, Susan, Tess, Teresa, Unknown

27 March 2021

How is LAC Preparing for the Next Census Release?

According to Preparing for the 1950 Census The (US) National Archives will release those records in April 2022.  They got to work on it immediately following the release of the 1940 census. To date

.. selected staff who have received special clearances to work on these records have scanned the majority of the pages and are also able to work remotely on indexing efforts. Our staff are busy ensuring that state, county, city and enumeration district metadata will be available at the time of launch. 

Toward the end of the post read:

We know that the Census data is important to so many of you. Supporting public access to these records is right at the heart of our mission–to make access happen. 

Does LAC management agree public access to records is right at the heart of their mission? Do they know the importance of census data, and not only for genealogists?

In Canada, the 1931 census was taken on 1 June so should become available 92 years later, on that date in 2023? Like its US counterpart, is LAC working toward the timely release of that census?

Mapping Irish Roman Catholic Marriages by County and Parish.

John Grenham has done it again, adding a capability to map RC marriages by surname to his already extensive at his subscription site www.johngrenham.com/surnames/. They are based on the Ancestry/FindMyPast Roman Catholic parish transcripts.

His blog post introduction gives a warning about the reliability of the results — here.

26 March 2021

Gene-O-Rama Reminder

Ottawa Branch OGS Gene-O-Rama starts tomorrow, Saturday 27 March. A reminder there's an early start.

08:30 Update from Library & Archives Canada Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer
09:00 Pat Horan Memorial Lecture: Successful Collateral and Cluster Searching Thomas MacEntee
10:00 Break & Browse Marketplace
10:30 Silver Spoons and Short Straw: British Immigrants to Canada John Reid and Glenn Wright
11:30 Lunch Break & Browse Marketplace
12:15 Strategies to Analyze Endogamous DNA Alec Ferretti
01:15 Break & Browse Marketplace
01:45 All Kinds of Loyalists Kathryn Lake Hogan
02:45 Break & Browse Marketplace
03:15 Genetic Genealogy Tools Mags Gaulden

Gene-O-Rama continues with presentations on Sunday.

If you have registered but have not received the instructions, please check your spam or junk folders. If it is not there, please contact Mike More at ottawaprogram@ogs.on.ca; include the Reference Number from your initial registration message. 

Findmypast Weekly Update: Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Essex

Norfolk Baptisms
Over 9,000 additions for 1937, now totalling 2.4 million, sourced from the Norfolk Record Office with linked images of the original. There are 713 parishes, 253 with additions in the collection

Norfolk Banns & Marriages
Over 16,000 new records from 1921, now totalling over 2 million, sourced from the Norfolk Record Office with linked images of the original. 402 of 714 parishes have additions.

Norfolk Burials
46 out of 699 parishes have additions, all for 1996, sourced from the Norfolk Record Office with linked images of the original. 

These Norfolk records include some parishes in adjacent Suffolk which moved to Norfolk in 1974.

Lincolnshire Monumental Inscriptions
Over 36,500 new records. These records include 295 parish churchyards and burial grounds transcribed by the volunteers of the Lincolnshire Family History Society. 

Essex Memorial Inscriptions
Over 22,000 new records from various denominations such as Anglican, Roman Catholic, Quaker, and non-conformist, as well as community and war memorials. There are 352 places mentioned including Matching, Messing, Mucking and Ugley.

10 British Websites For The History Of Ordinary People

Natalie writes "I’m obsessed with family history and I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a boring ancestor. In fact, if you think your ancestors are dull, then I’ll give it to you straight – you are doing something wrong!"

Who is Natalie? Her website is https://genealogystories.co.uk/, 

One of the resources is "10 British Websites For The History Of Ordinary People." You probably have lots of those and find it a challenge to write about them. Most of the websites were new to me, the first five are:

1. The British Library Oral History Collection
2. Working Class History
3. Working Class Movement Library
4. History Workshop Org
5. British Agricultural History Society

For the links and the other five go to https://genealogystories.co.uk/10-websites-for-the-history-of-ordinary-people/. There's more worth browsing at the site.